The last of the tomatoes! From the twenty-odd pounds of green tomatoes I harvested in mid-October, I’ve made quite a few things. There were simple green tomato pickles and green tomato-lime-cilantro preserves. From those that ripened, I made roasted tomatoes that I froze for future inclusion into stews and such.
The last of the barrel had to be dealt with, and this is what I did with them. I think these could go quite well together in a meal,
like this recipe for oven-braised barbeque chicken from Local Kitchen (a Hudson Valley primer for eating local), using the sauce,
with a few pickles on the side. It’ll be a nice reminder of how brutally hot this summer was when I’m nestled in the middle of a bitter cold February.
Green Tomato Bread and Butters
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking, yields five pints
4 lbs green tomatoes (large, round ones are best)
2 large onions
1/3 cup of salt (kosher or pickling)
Slice the tomatoes and onions (for size, think bread and butter pickles; if the tomatoes are too big, slice in half), cover in salt and toss to coat in a large glass bowl. Cover with a towel and set in the fridge for four to six hours. (Some say to cover in ice, but I didn’t in this case.)
Combine in a non-reactive pot:
3 ½ cups of cider vinegar
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of celery seed
½ teaspoon of whole cloves
½ teaspoon of whole coriander
Bring to a boil and dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, rinse the vegetables of the salt. Then, put the vegetables in the boiling syrup and return to a boil. Simmer for ten minutes. With a slotted spoon, ladle into hot pint jars (wide mouths are best!) and then top with the extra syrup. Process in
boiling water bath for ten minutes. Let the pickles sit for three weeks before you eat them.
Tip: If you have any syrup left, save it. It’s a great flavor boost in stews and salad dressings.
Adapted from The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, yields five half-pints
This is a somewhat light, tangy and sweet sauce, feel free to add some heat in the form of chili peppers, or deepen the flavor with more molasses, or a hit of instant coffee. I used a crock pot or slow cooker for this. What’s nice about sauces is because there is no pesky gel stage you have to reach you can cook them, let them sit, and can them when you want. Just make sure to bring them up to temperature (a good simmer for 10-15 minutes should do the trick) before you start the canning process.
Put 7 pounds of tomatoes cut in chunks into a crock pot on low for ten hours. Pass them through a food mill, and return the sauce into the crock pot.
Finely mince in the food processor, and add to the sauce:
½ large onion
1 clove of garlic
Cook on high for about two hours, until some of the water has cooked off. Then add:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon of molasses
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of salt
1 teaspoon of celery seed, ground ginger, ground cinnamon
½ chili flakes
1 tablespoon of dried ground harissa (optional)
ground fresh pepper
Let it all cook until it reaches your desired consistency. Can in half-pint jars, process in a boiling water bath for twenty minutes.
Julia Sforza is a freelance preserver living in Ulster Park. She also blogs about preserving at What Julia Ate.